“If things go in a difficult direction, we have tools, as in the case of Poland and Hungary.”
The comments sparked fury in the European Parliament where League MEP Marco Zanni and Marco Campomenosi lashed out against the EU Commission chief.
In a joint note, they wrote: “Italy is a free, sovereign country with a strong democratic tradition. Italian citizens deserve respect and Brussels should just get it.
“The words spoken yesterday by Ursula Von der Leyen are shameful, we do not accept warnings, lessons or veiled threats, however, three days before the vote, yet another interference by someone in the EU who is unable to accept that in Italy, sovereignty belongs to the people.
“We will present a question to ask for clarity on the matter. Whether it is intentional or a slip, it is in any case serious and unacceptable. The president of the EU Commission must apologise and respect the vote of the Italians.”
READ MORE: Ukraine: Lavrov storms out of UN Council as Cleverly slams Russia